This week on ZERO STARS! MISS ALEX WHITE! This redcropped rocker has been crunching out kick ass licks in some of the best groups to come out of the Chicago scene in the last decade, including Hot Machines, Miss Alex White & The Red Orchestra, and most recently White Mystery, a two-piece with her bro White Francis. She can also flex some serious food muscle, so, of course we talk about hot dogs. Look, she even has food named after her: “Every Halloween, Lula Cafe dresses up as another local restaurant for one night only, including a parody menu and decor. Last year, they fashioned their menu after Kuma’s Corner, which is a famous metal-head bar in town that names burgers after bands. The Chicago Reader featured Lula’s, ‘double-stacked ALEX WHITE, which features frizzled beet, presumably in honor of the local rocker’s red locks.’ It was cool to eat myself, and to see a whole room of people eating me too.”
Carrot Cake, Lula Cafe
Chewdout: What’s one dinner you’ve recently enjoyed?
Alex: On Friday, I dined at Lula Cafe, where eclectic food thrives in Chicago. It was my 26th birthday, and I sat at the marble counter facing the kitchen. The dinner I enjoyed: over wintered carrot soup with hominy, basil, espelette, spring vegetable tart with prairie fruits farm goat cheese and sabayon and goat butter biscuit chickpea and sweet potato tagine with arugula, cinnamon, harissa, and cous cous. Carrot cake with creme anglaise.
Chewdout: That sounds awesome. And happy birthday! What’s your favorite breakfast?
Alex: Almond butter with sliced kiwi on top of wheat toast, and 6 cups of black coffee.
Chewdout: That sounds like a healthy way to start the day! What’s an unhealthy food that you nevertheless eat?
Alex: Salt and vinegar potato chips.
Chewdout: MMM.. those are good. Dolly Parton has just shown up at your house unexpectedly for dinner. What do you cook to impress?
Alex: According to Answers.com, Dolly Parton’s favorite food is hotdogs, so I’d take her to Hot Doug’s, the encased meat emporium of Chicago!
It’s a famous joint that started the fancy sausage fad, where you can get Foie Gras and Sauternes Duck Sausage with Truffle Aioli, Antelope Sausage with 4-Cheese Dijonnaise, Curry pork sausage, Alligator, or the “Elvis,” which is a charred Polish dog with all the standard fixings. Dolly seems like the fun-loving type.
Chewdout: I’m sure she’d love it! What’s one thing that you can cook exceptionally well?
Alex: My favorite meal to cook consists of yummy pink salmon burgers, on a bed of shredded red cabbage, with a big dollop of guacamole, and little corn tortillas. A single avocado can serve a lot of people when it’s chock full of cubed vegetables, like carrots and celery. Sometimes it’s followed by a chocolate, walnut cake, but that’s baking!
Spider Roll, Katsu
Chewdout: Chicago likes to bill certain foods as “chicago style,”, Like chicago style hot dog, chicago style pizza, etc.. What’s the most pointless “chicago style” food you’ve run across?
Alex: Chicago hot dogs and pizza earn those titles rightfully. How about Chicago food that deserve a lot more credit? Mexican cuisine here, like Wholly Frijole in Lincolnwood, puts all other cities to shame for freshness, authenticity, and price. I miss Vietnamese sandwiches from Nhu Lan Bakery and spider rolls from Katsu more than my family when I’m on tour.
Chewdout: I can see why! You’ve got $10 to make a meal, but you can prepare the meal with only a knife, what do you make?
Alex: I’d cut off my finger with the knife, eat it raw, and spend $10 on beer.
White Mystery’s new LP Blood & Venom just dropped like Red Hots outta the box! Cram it in your mouth here!!
In this week’s installment of Breakfast Jamz: Shannon and the Clams’ Shannon Shaw makes us her super secret, tasty, crispy badass pancakes! We call them Shan-Cakes. Clam-Cakes was a close contender but it seemed misleading.. They’re super flavorful, and, owing to some top-secret ingredients, will be a hit at any drunk morning party! Start with Secret Ingredient #1: Bisquick!
"I love Bisquick," Shannon says. Simply mix it up the way it tells you to on the box.
OK, here’s Secret Ingredient #2: When it calls for milk, use this stuff:
It will add a sweet dimension to the cakes that helps to erase the rotten, stale Michelob and tequila residue coating your hungover digestive tract. It also helps to have a birthday cake like this laying around, makes for good conversation, and it contributes to the sense of a warm, loving kitchen.
"This is just the head, he used to have a candy bandolero."
Secret Ingredient #3…… When it comes time to grease the pan use coconut oil!
"It’s really good for you" Shannon says.* Cooking them in coconut oil adds a one-of-a-kind crisp, and also makes them the greasiest pancakes you’ll ever pick up with your hands.
(*Coconut oil is not really good for you)
In the meantime chop up some fruit! Pears for example.
In the end you’ll have a tasty stack to split with your friends:
Dot the plate with some maple-syrup sperms and call it a morning. A great way to start the day! Thanks Shannon!
This week on ZERO STARS: John Wesley Coleman! Guitarist of Austin’s The Golden Boys, who’s latest solo record came out last year on Goner, he loves to slap some beans on the plate and a Lone Star on the brain. Wes says next time you’re down in Austin, make sure and hit the Texas Chili Parlor!
"Small spicy with all the works, sour cream, onions, jalapenos, cheese, crackers. Mad Dog margarita! awesome! they know me there. ask Tim Murphy!" Thanks Wes!!
Chewdout: What’s one dinner you’ve recently enjoyed?
Wes: The S.O.S. 2011 at Olivia. Kobe beef tips that have been marinated in a hot spicy rub. Layered over texas french toast sitting in a light sauce gravy. one fried egg on top in the middle hiding a kobe beef tip.
Chewdout: Oh nice, Texas toast makes for some good French toast! What’s your favorite breakfast?
Wes: Same as above. I eat breakfast late in the day. Or maybe a mexican breakfast taco..refried beans!
Chewdout: What’s an unhealthy food that you nevertheless eat?
Wes: I love fried chicken!
Chewdout: Dom DeLouise has just shown up at your house unexpectedly for dinner. What do you cook to impress?
Wes: Spaghetti and meatballs!
Chewdout: Of course! What was one meal you remember loving as a kid?
Wes: Spaghetti and meatballs! I loved twirling the noodles over and over again. It was elementary school, I would whip the plate into the garbage like a frisbee afterward. I would make a big mess with it.
Chewdout: You’ve got $10 at a supermarket to feed 5 people, but you can prepare the meal with only a knife, what do you make?
Wes: Mac and cheese, hotsauce and tuna fish in a bowl. Yum!
Chewdout: Gimme 3 things you can cook with an armadillo-
Wes: Armadillo but cream poppy seed bagel, armadillo and jalapeno soup cold, armadillo kbob over an open prairie fire.
Thanks Wes, we might just take your word for it on that one.. John Wesley Coleman’s Bad Lady Goes to Jail is available NOW on Goner Records! Scoop it up like chili with a Frito!!
…if you’re only stealing an IDEA! You know how you can get those burger patties at the store with all kinds of cheese and spices and stuff built-in? Well, last Sunday I decided to try and make my own. Here’s what happened:
First I chopped up a bunch of vegetables, including some avos, cause I was also makin’ guac.
What’s a burger without a fry-type side? I made a bunch of red potatoes into little cubes and sprinkeled ‘em with garlic powder, chili powder, and also threw in some onions and cilantro just in case that did anything. See if you can spot the butter pats! I did this pretty much first so I could get ‘em goin’ in the oven while I
…started mashing cheese cubes, red onions, jalapenos, green onions, bacon bits and cilantro into the burger meat! You definitely gotta be careful not to put too much in, otherwise you’re gonna have LOOSE PATTIES!
Whupps, forgot the garlic! It’s probably better off not getting its flavor diluted by the beef anyway. By now I found time to mash up the avos and added toms, onions, cilantro, lime juice, and black olives for the guac! Now we have something to snack on while the
burgers cook! Make sure they go on garlic-side-up so you don’t cook it all off! I started ‘em out with the lid closed on low heat so I could cook ‘em through without boiling off all the juices. Then I blasted ‘em on high for a minute or two to get a nice char on the outside. Throw cheese slices on after that and pull ‘em when they’re melted!
Time to get the buns together. Pickles, onions, tomatoes, and cilantro all go great on the top bun. I also spread on some guac instead of ketchup. Contrary to popular belief, the cheese should be on the bottom. It’s a little-known fact that this will act as a grease barrier to keep your bottom bun dry and fluffy!
By then the taters were done, so Jenna and me decided to pour ourselves some beers and call it a meal! Ketchup dipping area is optional. (ranch woulda been good…)
by Munchy Mark!
Pink’s Hot Dogs, Hollywood.
This week on zero stars we speak with Bobby Harlow, legendary frontman of Detroit’s The Go. Lately you’ll find him, along with Go bandmates John and Marc in Conspiracy of Owls, one of the most exciting, yet largely unheard groups around today. Adding other musicians for the live show from in and around the Detroit music scene like Human Eye, and of course, the Dee-troit Cobras, they’ve taken what they know from garage, and sprinkled it like brown sugar crumbs on a peach cobbler of smooth 70’s AM Gold!
Bobby says when your in Detroit hit up Slows BarBQ.
"Macaroni and cheese. Another good place is The Wolfgang Puck Grille - try the Yukon gold potato and pecorino ravioli with Italian parsley and white truffle oil. Ask for Mark. He’ll hook it up."
Chewdout: What’s one dinner you’ve recently enjoyed?
Bobby: Recently, I’ve enjoyed yet another 2am stop at Del Taco. Ever since it sprung up in Michigan I’ve been a big fan. Fish tacos are my favorite. Sometimes I do shrimp too. I must admit, though, that I don’t love waking up with remnants of shrimp and cabbage in my bed.
Chewdout: I could imagine! What’s your favorite breakfast?
Bobby: I used to eat meat. I liked Mexican omelets with hot sauce and sour cream. Now, I usually keep it simple and order eggs (over medium - which seem to be a tall order as they usually come runny), hash browns (the buttery, stringy style), and white toast.
I confess, breakfast is not one of my strongest suits. I often just grab coffee from Dunkin Donuts, cream and sugar, and smoke cigarettes until I can’t breathe. I’ve found that it’s the finest way to begin my day/life/eternity.
Chewdout: What’s another unhealthy food that you nevertheless eat?
Bobby: Everything I eat is unhealthy. I do avoid MSG. It gives me a headache and makes me feel like I took a quarter hit of acid. I hate that stuff. Ok, an unhealthy food item that I ingest… Twinkies.
Chewdout: 1976, heavy-drinking John Lennon has just shown up at your house unexpectedly for dinner. What do you cook to impress?
Bobby: Depends on what time he’s turned up at my door. If it’s 3am, I guess I throw some “Banquet macaroni and cheese” in the microwave (I have a microwave because I’m rich) and we both marvel at how good it is when it ought to be the worst tasting thing ever, at 99 cents an entree.
If it’s 6pm, I invite him in, as he steps through the door I punch him directly in his solar plexus, knocking the wind straight outta him. This gives me time to think, as he’s rolling around, attempting to collect himself. I quickly scan all recipes that I can bring to memory, instantly. There, I remember a dish from my home economics class that contains massive amounts of sharp, cheddar cheese, cream of mushroom soup, onions, & hash brown potatoes.
I drag him, by his heels, into the kitchen. I collect all of my pots and pans, in one big bear hug and drop them on the tile floor, causing a giant, calamitous racket. He’s surprised and this distracts him from his own anger. I then begin throwing all of the ingredients onto the floor, from the fridge, take off my shirt, and sing “Mama’s Little Baby Loves Shortnin’” as I mix everything in a large, glass casserole dish. I use my feet to open the preheated oven and, with the same feet, insert the dish. I change the subject, “I think I saw Ringo, yesterday.” I lied. I just wanted him to return to a fond and familiar place. I’ve comforted him. Now, we wait 60 minutes. I maintain eye contact. I don’t want him to think that he’s in the clear. When he attempts to stand, so do I. I’ve kept the floor greased with lard, in advance, anticipating the moment where I may need to prevent somebody from escaping my kitchen.
The floor is slippery. We both continue to sit and stand for another 45 minutes until the timer goes off. I reach into the oven, this time using my hands and arms. I present 2 forks and tell him to dig right in, reminding him to blow on each bite (as it’s very hot). Obviously, he’s impressed, as am I. I think this went well. John agrees. We then write 12 songs together and call it, “The Real Beatles.” I’m looking forward to this. When is this happening???
Chewdout: Its gotta!! You’ve got $10 to make a meal, but you can only prepare the meal with a knife, what do you make?
Bobby: I’ve told you already, “Banquet macaroni and cheese.” We each get two. Next question.
Chewdout: What would be the best food to throw at a Robocop statue?
Bobby: Cats and dogs.
Conspiracy of Owls s/t release is out NOW on Burger Records! Check out their new video for Puzzle People!